October 24, 2013

Ryan is 4!...

I am not going to go back and check how long it's been since I've posted but we all know it's been a while.  I will give no excuse other than, life happens.  I apologize.  But I'm here now!

I will ease myself back into this blogging thing with an update for the little ruler of the house.  Holy crap Ryan is 4 years old!!!  Her birthday was Monday.  It was a low key day where I mostly reminded AJ a few times that it was Ryan's birthday and to please not annoy her and make her scream.  AJ had a reading group that afternoon at the library so Ryan got to play in the kids section which both of the kids love.  She also wore her new Sofia the First dress up which was a great conversation starter for her so that she could inform everyone that is was in fact her birthday that day.

After reading group we headed to the grocery store, I never made it over the weekend so we had close to nothing in the house.  (I really love it when the fridge and pantry get that low, it makes me feel like I'm using everything and not being wasteful)  But it got so low we were actually out of vegetables and the only fruit we had was a lone apple.
I asked Ryan what she wanted for dinner.
"Muffins" she replied.
"OK, what do you want with your muffins?"
"So you want muffins and apples for dinner?"
"Yes, I love muffins and apples. Cut up apples"
"What else would you like with the muffins and apples? Like chickens or noodles...?"
"Baby we can not have muffins, apples and doughnuts for dinner"
"Can we have doughnuts for breakfast?!" AJ pipes up
"Maybe this weekend, but we still need to figure out what we are going to have for dinner tonight. Ryan what do you want to eat for dinner tonight...and no doughnuts."

So, I decided to build a menu around muffins so she would get the one thing that she asked for.  The least I could do.  We shopped for the week and for that night and I got a little ice cream cake for the 4 of us.  It was a little late and I still had to get home and cook so I decided to cut a few corners, like buying pre-made muffins, so the kids wouldn't be eating ice cream cake at 9:30.  Then I got home and realized I didn't get muffins!! Out of every darn thing that I could have forgotten I forgot the most important part of the meal!  Luckily I had a quick just add water mix in the cabinet so I threw those in the oven and 15 minutes later the night was saved.  Who knows if she would have even made a fuss about not having a muffin but it was her birthday and I didn't want to disappoint her, especially after she let the doughnut thing go so easily.

Before we had cake we let her open her birthday gift.  Jasey and I were so excited to give it to her!  We ordered it and put it together about 2 weeks ago and it had been camping out in our closet, so it was nice to gain that space back as well.  A new dollhouse!  She was still playing with a Little People plastic one that she got for her first birthday.  She still enjoyed playing with the little one but it was getting pretty small for her and she played with it so much I knew that a bigger one would not go to waste.   Bonus, it fit perfectly under her bed!  This was where I intended on putting it so I searched for one that would fit.  She said it was 'fabulous!' and immediately set up all of her princesses in it.  A definite hit!  Ice cream cake and a little extra playtime followed and then it was bed time.

They were both pretty tuckered out by then and bed time was not fought that night.  Though I guess Ryan was still feeling pretty special because she insisted she wear her tiara to bed. 

Two days later she had her 4 year check up.  Little miss is 40.5 inches tall (68th percentile) and 36.6 pounds (65th percentile) They also took her BP for the first time.  They tried at 3 year but she couldn't get a proper reading and this time around they had to use the baby cuff because she has tiny arms.  Her BP was 91/58, holy crap I wish my BP was that low.  I actually have a very good BP, but that low would be awesome!!  She got two shots, which she was none to happy about.  I also asked the doc to look at her feet again.  The poor girl was so big that her feet were all squished when I was prego with her (her head was taking up most of the room!) so she's always been kinda pigeon toed.  Her legs (one especially) looked to me like they kinda bowed but that has straightened out.  Her feet on the other hand still turn in.  Her left foot is worse and when she gets tired they start to drag, she trips and sometimes fall.  Everyone kept saying 'oh, they will straighten themselves out' but I've been watching them ever since she was born and since she's started walking and they have yet to correct themselves.  Finally, the doctors agree.  They are giving us a referral to take her to an orthopedist.  So I will keep you posted on that when ever we find something out.

Until then, there is your 4 year update for Ryan, our little ruler.  The shrieking, chunky-butted, chipmunk.  

Today I am grateful for cool, Florida mornings.  They make walking before the sun comes up completely worth it.  

July 31, 2013

The Big Guns...

So apparently my life is more dramatic and exciting than I ever thought it was...or, would like it to be.  This story is a nice follow up to the guy I encountered while refinishing Ryan's bike.

I have so many thoughts running through my head that I can't get to sleep.  I figured it might help to get them out of my head and into a fun little blog post that I think will make you laugh...or at least stare at the screen with your mouth hanging open while formulating your own responses to this good for nothing Gen Y chick that I had the pleasure of pissing off this evening.

I recently put a few things on Craigslist, including two bar stools, and am about to share an email exchange and...lets say, 'altercation' I had today with this college kid.

I copy and pasted each email exactly how it was sent whether it was from me or her.  My only change was an asterisk next to the start of my emails so it's easier to keep track. (side note: the stools are posted for $100)
Here we go...

Hi I will offer 50 for both, how high are the stools seat from the ground?

*  They are 29" seats. Counter or pub table height. 
$75 for the pair

60 and it's a deal. I'm a college student so I'm on a budget. But I really am interested?

*  Sorry we can't go that low. If you reconsider for 75 let me know. 

I honestly just can't afford that, most similar stools I've looked at go for 20 each but they were for the wrong bar size. 

I'm really in need of stools if you could please maybe reconsider. 

*  The stools are from Target they are Threshold Carey 29" Bar Stools and retail for $69.99. They were bought new, by us, less than 10 months ago and are in perfect condition. I'm sorry but I can't sell them for less than the cost of one of them. I was stretching it going to $75. 

Would you do 70 then? I really want them. And am in need for them this week. But 70 is really high for me to afford.
So what do you think on 70?

*  Let me ask my husband. He's at work late tonight. I'll email you when I talk to him.

Ok I can pick them up tonight or tomorrow morning if you agree. I'm fine with 70 if they are in perfect condition.

*  No. I'm sorry we are going to have to pass.

If I come see them tomorrow first and deem them in perfect condition ill do the 75. But you do realize used furniture typically goes for 1/3 the original cost. I would only go that high if they are exactly what I've been looking for. Can we arrange to meet and let me view them tomorrow? I'm available all day after 1230.

*  I've bought and sold many items on craigslist and else where and am well aware of how it works. My bar stools are exactly what you are looking for, I know this since you have now upped your price three times even after I have told you no thank you. So, thank you, but no. 

Yes they are what I am looking for. I never doubted that. But you never know the condition until you see the item. I'm a female college student working on a part time retail salary... Sorry if I don't exactly have close to 100 dollars to shell out.. I have changed my price by talking to my parents on worth. I am really interested in the stools for I've been looking for a month now. If I am willing to meet your price after trying to financially figure out if I can afford it, why wouldn't you sell them to me?

*  I am a female stay at home mom of two  young children working on no salary. Why this has any relevance to bar stools I'm not sure. I agree you need to see something to figure it's worth, next time do that up front if you are so interested. Do not change your tune three times and then insult the other person by telling them you will 'deem' the item 'worthy' only to promptly move on to a nice little lecture about how the world works. I'd rather use them as fire wood. 

Okay. Your job or lack there of has no relevance to me. Mine however when PURCHASING does. If you are to actually take me wanting to examine an item before paying a absurd amount past their worth as an insult, then you're ridiculous. I changed my "tune" because I really needed stools. At least I can give a lecture since I'm properly educated and not the epitome of a Boca... Pardon my language "bitch". You wanted an insult... There you go. 

If you are as unpleasant  in person as you are in emails... Then god help you. 
Enjoy your firewood.  

Uh, so, there you have it.  Once the name calling starts, I'm done.  I don't have time to pull hair with a self righteous, college/sorority girl that (just incase you all didn't catch this) needs bar stools.  Apparently this 'college student on a budget' can afford her own apartment, because I've never seen a dorm room that has the space or 'need' for bar stools. 

As much as her last email should make my blood boil it mostly just makes me laugh.  I admit that I made a couple remarks that had a bit of a bite behind them but my main objective was to get my point across in a very diplomatic fashion.  I very nicely told her "I'm sorry, no, thank you" three times!  I purposely steered clear of remarks that made an assumption about her specifically.  Remarks about 'needing' bar stools to impress her sorority sisters or perhaps a remark about skipping a case of beer this weekend to come up with the extra few bucks. Then in later emails the fact that if she's been looking for a month she could have added a couple bucks to her 'bar stool fund' but I guess she needed to stock up behind the bar too.  I didn't even take the easy jabs to her grammar and punctuation.  

Does she realize that with her last reply she proved every point that I made?  I guess she has all the answers and doesn't need life lessons...or advice on common courtesy...and she's got sarcasm down pat.  (did you catch that? because she wouldn't have)  She doesn't even gear her rebuttals to the proper arguments, which just sends me into another fit of giggles.  Do not even get me started on the Boca thing (cause I'm far from it!) or the mom thing, especially the mom thing!...Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned...

But, alas, I held my tongue because who am I to judge a girl that was still pooping in her pants as I was entering high school.  I'm just a worthless, unemployed, uneducated, unpleasant Boca bitch.  

At least my feet are nice and toasty from this fire.  

Today I am thankful that I am a grown woman with self control...and two kids that I stay at home with (that's the best part). :)

July 08, 2013

Our Ordeal...

I guess it's time to share 'the story' with everyone since it's getting around anyway.

I have been writing a post, about perspective, in my head for 2 or so weeks.  The way I see myself and the world around me and what actually matters in life, and how in the grand scheme of things how utterly insignificant the amount of time we are here is, compared to the span of all time and the size of the universe.  Once my mind gets going it's kinda hard to reel it back in.

Then last Friday we got tipped on our heads.  Literally.

Jasey finally calmed down at work enough to take a day off so that we could go do something fun as a family.  We'd been trying to plan this for at least a couple months.  The day after the 4th was as good a day as any and it gave him a very long weekend, something he never gets.

We threw around a few ideas as to what to do.  Tri-rail to Miami and go to zoo or aquarium.  Take the kids to a movie, go bowling, go to a baseball game.  Just something new or different or that we don't get to do often.   We settled on canoeing.  Jasey and I both love to canoe and kayak and there are so many places to go in South Florida.  We had never taken the kids but they had to start sometime.

We went to the Loxahatchee River up in Jupiter.   They told us the water was a little high but other than that is was ok.  We got the canoe and headed down to the launch site.  As we got there the skies opened up, but it's Florida and cleared up quickly.  There was a little bit of lightening off in the distance but it passed and we were good to go.  We brought a few fishing poles, some snacks and the kids camp chairs for them to sit on so they could see better.  We loaded up and shoved off.  

We could tell the water was flowing pretty good but there was no problem.  We came to the first dam and as they said the water was high enough that we didn't have to get out and walk the canoe which was kind of a relief with the kids.  We passed the dam no problem and continued on but as we got further down the river it started gettting crazier.  The water was getting higher and the current was getting stronger and we didn't have much time to maneuver the twists and turns, when we could even find them.  So we decided to turn around about half way down the river.  We didn't want to get all the way to the end and have to fight the current all the way back, who knew how strong it would be by then.

We turned around and had a few good laughs as we got carried this way or that, but nothing that wasn't manageable.  As we made it back to the last bend before coming up on the dam again I heard a splash and a few screams.  I looked upstream and saw an old man in the water fighting the current that was dragging him downstream and underwater at the same time.  He was about in his 70's.  Then I saw another man get to him and start dragging him to bank but they were both having trouble.  Next I see another man swimming to the two men from around the bend and a flipped canoe floating towards us.  We let the water carry us and the flipped canoe to the opposite side so we could stop the canoe from getting away.  The third man then swam over to us after he helped the two guys out of the water.

I hung onto an overhanging tree to hold our canoe steady and Jasey hopped out to help the man empty the flipped canoe and right it again.  Then Jasey got back in our canoe and the man got back in the other canoe and we all headed back upstream to the dam and the two stranded men.  The two men got to safety and the third guy, (who I now realized was not with the other two men, he was there with his wife and daughter and they happened to have stopped at the boardwalk alongside the dam so were there when the two men went over) got back into the other canoe and we all started to paddle back up and over the dam.  The guy went in front of us and flipped again half way up the dam.  The current was much stronger by now than it was when we first crossed the dam going downstream.  We managed to keep him and the canoe from floating back downstream and decided to make it to the boardwalk instead of paddling over the dam.

That is when all hell broke loose.

It wasn't a rash decision.  We all made the decision together and it was the best plan.  We carefully headed for the other side.  No one is exactly sure when or how it went wrong, but just as we approached the boardwalk and we were only inches from where we needed to be, we flipped.  The only thing we can figure is that the angle of our canoe mixed just so with the flow of the current and it was not a good mix.

I was in the front of the canoe, closest to the boardwalk and also in the least strong part of the current.  I popped up almost immediately and my eyes landed on the bag that had been under my seat so I snagged that then managed to snag the plastic bag that had my phone in it (no lectures on having my phone in a canoe, I'll get to that later)  I also ended up with two of the paddles in my hands, still not sure how.  I turned and saw AJ right next to me as we started to get carried downstream.  A little ways away I saw Jasey and on the other side of our canoe I say the other guy.

No Ryan.

I look around frantically and immediately started screaming her name and "where's Ryan!?!?!"  Which got Jasey screaming the same thing.  Next thing I know he yells her name and takes off in one direction towards the side of the river.  I thought he saw her, but I couldn't so I kept looking around trying to push out the thoughts that were creeping into my head, 'she can't swim, she's underwater, I can't see a thing, she's being swept down the river.'  I hear Jasey scream her name again and head back the other way towards the canoes but I still don't see her.  AJ is already out of my grasp but I can see him and he is being slowed by the canoe and is grabbing onto it.  I'm trying to swim against the current to the boardwalk but am making no progress, still screaming Ryan's name.  I hear the man's wife on the boardwalk telling me not to panic and I'm thinking I can damn well panic if I want to because if Ryan is gone I don't think I'd every let myself get out of this river.

I have no clue how long any of this took and I'm sure it was a matter of seconds but they were the longest seconds of my life.  Then in less than one more second it all changed again.  I heard the man yell, 'she's here!' and turned to see him flipping our canoe back over and there she was, somehow still sitting in her chair (that part still baffles me).  It was relief but not totally because I still couldn't get to her and AJ and the guys were still in the water being carried away.  At some point in all of this I had managed to grab onto a vine hanging into the water so I was floating about 15 or 20 feet away from the boardwalk but not being carried any further.  Jasey, the kids, the other man and both canoes were carried down the river and around a bend, the same bend that we were at when we saw the first two men go in and where we managed to stop their canoe in the beginning of all of this.  That same spot is where they managed to stop.  They unloaded the canoe of what was left, dumped the water out of both, righted them and got back in.

I was being pushed back and forth by the current, but luckily my vine was holding.  The mother in me wanted desperately to let go and go to wherever the others were, but logic wouldn't let me, so I floated for a while, starting to become more aware that it was possible I could be dragged under by a gator at any moment.  I still had my two bags and two paddles and was not willing to let go of anything I had managed to save from the water.  I figured out my plan and got situated.  I waited until the water carried me closer to the side of the river and swung my feet up to catch onto a branch hanging nearby so I could grab onto the tree and work my way upstream towards the boardwalk.  I was still quite short of the boardwalk after I had reached the end of the tree so I planted my feet on the tree and pushed myself towards the railing.  I almost missed.  But managed to grab just enough to drag myself in.

I know now that they were just around the bend but I had no clue where they actually were at the time.  We yelled to each other once when I was still in the water so I knew they were pretty close and everyone was ok.  Then after I got out we yelled again so he knew I was out of the water.  I heard AJ yell to me and he told me that Ryan was ok but she wasn't saying anything.  A couple more times I almost jumped in to swim to where they were, but knew that Jasey would be none to happy with me if I did.

I felt like I was waiting on the boardwalk forever before I saw them come around the bend.  It was wonderful to see them rowing towards me, even the other man who rowed back with them in our canoe, and I would have done anything the make sure they didn't flip or float back down river again.  I have a bruise on my upper arm that we think is from Jasey grabbing onto me when they got to the boardwalk so they wouldn't float away.  We waited on the boardwalk for a while to relax and collect ourselves.  The man went back and got the other canoe, we helped him up the dam and then he rowed over to the two men that had been on the opposite side of the river this whole time.  An ambulance came to take the old man and a worker from the canoe outfitter came to paddle their canoe back to the launch site.  We decided to paddle back instead of cutting off where they took the old man out and figured now was as good a time as any.  AJ said he did not want to go back in the canoe nor did he ever want to go canoeing ever again.  Ryan just took a step back when I got in and started shaking her head.  We did push them but explained we were taking the canoe back so we could head home.  It was a relatively quick and easy paddle back, though everytime the canoe rocked AJ would make a little noise.  Jasey said Ryan feel asleep on the cross bar on the way back.

So, my sunglasses, the kid's camp chairs, AJ's fishing pole and Jasey's sunglasses, wallet and phone were all sacrificed to the Loxahatchee River Gods that day, never to return.  I did manage to save the bag with my phone in it but it was not a dry bag so my phone did not stay dry and sticking it in rice is not a trick that works when your phone has been water logged by rushing swamp muck.  Our car keys were also in the bag with my phone so luckily we were able to get home that day.  Jasey's phone and wallet did survive the initial dump and were in his pocket but in the debacle that followed they popped out and sunk.

I meant to ask Marshall if I could borrow one of his dry bags but forgot and since no one really plans to tip the canoe they are in and it was going to be a fun easy trip with two young kids I thought, oh well, no big deal.  Jasey and I also both almost left our phones and what not in the car when we went but we had the Jeep, which is completely open and then you second guess yourself and think well what if we need them for some reason.  Even the snacks, I was going to leave those but who knows how the kids are going react, how long we will be, you don't want anyone to get dehydrated.  Then we played the 'What if' game.  What if we had gone to the end of the river, we wouldn't have tipped when we did but we also wouldn't have been there to help the other people.  We may not have tipped at all but the current could have been even stronger than it was and what if we had tipped anyway and there was no one there to help us.  It goes on and on.

I could not sleep that night,  I was worried about goodness knows what and scared that I would have nightmares about the whole thing.  (I will have to share my nightmare from a few days prior to this, but will wait as I don't think I would be able to handle sharing both at the moment.) But as crazy as it was it all boils down to the fact that everyone is ok and as crappy as the whole thing was it could have turned out so much worse.  It was a very physically exhausting day but it was 100 times more exhausting mentally.  It's been 3 days and I think we are finally moving past the staring into space stage.  The kids will randomly talk about how something sank in the water (usually our phones, though AJ is very upset about his fishing pole) and they've been building boats with blocks and crashing and sinking them, but there have been no bad dreams and for that I am thankful.

So this definitely falls under the category of 'perspective' that I had been planning on writing about before.  I can dwell on the fact that I was not as calm, cool and collected as I would like to think I would be in a situation such as this.  I can tell myself how stupid I was to second guess myself and not leave my valuables in the (open) car.  I can beat myself up over the fact that I couldn't grab AJ before the current carried him away from me.  I can be fearful about what could have happened to Ryan.  I can go crazy with anxiety about how it could have affected Jasey and myself.  But when it comes down to it what does that matter now!?


My family is safe and I was able to hug them all again.  Nothing else matters in the world.

It goes without saying that today, and everyday, I am thankful that my little family is safe and I can give them hugs and kisses.

June 20, 2013

I'm A Female, Not A F***ing Idiot!!!!...

So I was going to post a quick blurb about this on facebook and then realized it was a lot more, shall we say emotionally charged than a few lines on facebook could express.

Plus, it was taking a lot more than a couple lines in my status area.

So here is a slightly longer, emotionally charged (read: pissed off) blurb about an experience I had about 15 minutes ago.

AJ got a new bike for his birthday (did I ever post about that? probably not).  We decided to put the training wheels back on his old bike and see if Ryan liked it.  We did, and she did.  So we went and got some paint stripper and some spray paint to make it her bike.  She chose purple.

Today I decided to get it done.  I scraped off all the factory stickers, took off the front wheel so I could also replace the tube, stripped the paint, sanded it with steel wool, rinsed it, let it dry and then covered the handlebars, gears, etc and taped it up with painters tape.

I was just finishing up checking it over and making sure nothing was peaking out that shouldn't be painted and that it was completely dry.  As I go to stand up a car drives by and stops in front of the apartment next door to us.  There had been this guy at the building across from me most of the time I had been working on the bike.  It was that guy.  He gets out of his car and walks up and hands me a card for his computer repair business and makes a random comment about my 'fun project'.  I say some nothing comment like, 'yep, its getting there'.  He then says 'So you're going to paint it right?'  I quickly tell the whole color switch from one kid to the other and so forth.  So he says, 'When you go to paint it you may want to put it over on the grass or something.'

For a split second between the two of us you could hear crickets.  But inside my head all I heard was the rushing of heated blood and a constant screaming.

Thank you, Mr. I Don't Live Here but Happen to be in the Neighborhood Fixing Someone's Computer so I May as Well Share My Manly Wisdom with this Lowly Little Woman.  I'd never thought of that.  I guess I just assumed that if I wished really hard and asked politely the paint would stick to the bike and not the ground.  I'm just out here sweating my a$$ off, stumbling along hoping that a computer repair man would come tell me what I was doing wrong.  (where is that darn sarcasm button!?!)  Grrrrrr...

All I wanted to do was glare daggers at this guy and tell him to go 'F' himself after I had finished ripping him a new a$$-hole.  But, I am a lady after all, I just said 'Yes, I have a drop cloth that I put down.'  Ultra polite and everything.  But apparently he wasn't done letting me know he knew more than I did about painting a bike.  So he says, 'Just be careful of over spray too.'  I looked around, although I knew where everyone was parked, since they are my neighbors.  There were three cars, the closest of which was mine and it was across the road at least 40 feet away and there wasn't a thought of a breeze in the air, I looked back at him.  I guess he realized I was loosing my patience and he was being an idiot because he was already half way back to his car.  I didn't say another word and went back to my work.

Needless to say I finished painting the bike in about 10 minutes.  I didn't get any paint on the road or on anyone's car or myself for that matter.  I even carried that little 16" bike back into the garage all by myself when the lawn guys started coming by with the leaf blowers.  And I didn't even need to be told by a man that little bits of dirt could stick to the still tacky paint.

It's one thing to want to be helpful.  It is a whole other monster to stick your nose into someone elses business.  It's not like I was out there in a mini skirt and stilettos shrieking every time the big bad scary screw driver broke one of my nails or if I got grease from the chain on myself.  There are few things in this world that irk me as much as a situation like this does.  Being treated like an idiot because I'm a woman and being talked down to like I'm a three year old.  Those are two big ones.

Well, there is my, much too long for facebook, rant about the idiot I encountered today.  No picture of the bike yet since it's still drying.

Today I am thankful that I live in a country and a time in history that I, as a woman, can be so outspoken when I feel I have been insulted or treated unfairly and not have to worry about the consequences of doing so.  

June 06, 2013

That Lost Feeling...

I haven't posted in a month and a half, oh my!  In that time, it has been raining almost non-stop and flooded a few times, at one point roads were closed and AJ's classroom flooded!  We have attended a couple birthday parties.  We spent a day at a farm.  We said goodbye to AJ's VPK teacher and school as she retired and they closed the center.  We spent a day at Gumbo Limbo with school friends.  I hosted a 'Princess Bride' themed bunko.  Many wonderful things have happened at Jasey's job.  We cleaned up trash from the side of the road.  We had a couple pool days when the rain let up long enough, Kirby got to go swimming too.  M and D got engaged!  We rode our bikes to school, many times.  We've celebrated silly holidays.  An event 16+ years in the making finally took place.  We went out for a special breakfast on Mother's Day.  I got a new hair cut.  I found out one of my oldest friends is pregnant, yeah!  AJ turned 6!!!  He got a new bike for his birthday.  We had a water balloon fight.  Ryan started riding AJ's old bike.  We hunted for Pirate's treasure.  We went to a school dance and ice cream party at AJ's school and an end of the year party or his class.  We have our first named storm of the season, Tropical Storm Andrea!!  Finally, AJ's last day of Kindergarten was today. :(

Here is a picture of the kids from Mother's Day...cause they're cute :)

And a picture of Kirby swimming in M&Ds pool...cause he's cute too :)

:) I love those three creatures.  

As you can see, I haven't forgotten, we've been busy.  Not only that, but every time I thought of a topic to write about that intrigued me I managed to talk myself out of it, it wasn't my place or it was at a point that I couldn't really write about it yet, no matter what I wanted to say.    Now it's been so long that I feel kinda weird diving into an in depth topic.  

So I'm going to write about something else. 

Have you ever had that feeling...a pit in your stomach feeling...the feeling that you are naked...like you've lost or forgotten something?  Of course sometimes there are real, not very pleasant, reasons for those feelings.  But many times that feeling is for the silliest thing.  I've had the naked feeling when I forget to put my rings back on.  I can remember many times from when I was young that my mom would wonder if she left the iron on.  And, of course, it is inevitable that whenever you leave for a trip you check 14 times for your passport or camera and then still feel like you forgot something.  

Just yesterday morning I left to take AJ to school and realized I forgot my phone.  True I was headed back home after I dropped him off but honestly it didn't bother me to not have my phone.  If Jasey or mom had tried to call me and I didn't answer...well that's a different story.  Although they don't get quite as upset as they did when I was pregnant and didn't answer :)  There is usually one thing that most people will turn around for if the've forgotten it at home, even if it's only for the day.

My thing is not my phone.

For me, it is my keys.

I know that sounds weird since usually you need your keys to go anywhere.  But there are times we take the Jeep or we are in mom's car or I am riding my bike or even when we are on vacation.  If I don't have my keys I feel a little bit out of control.  My stomach does a little flop.

When we go to someones house Jasey is very good about placing the keys in a certain spot.  Though that spot varies to wherever he happens to be standing, is often not in the most convenient area and placement is likely to be forgotten by the end of the evening.  I grab them and put them in my purse.  When I ride my bike I have the garage clicker in my purse so I don't need to go anywhere near my car and I don't need keys to get into the house but I still have my keys in my purse.  Most times while on vacation I will leave a spare key for my car, if needed, and take my keys with me.  If I leave my keys when we leave I will make a mental note and then tell a few people that I left them so they can reassure me when I freak out because I can't find them.  

As I'm writing this I realize it sounds more extreme than it actually is but for some reason I feel like my keys are my life line.  I feel losing them would be like losing my security.  I wouldn't by any means be cool, calm and collected if I actually lost my phone but if I know that it is sitting on the kitchen counter I am ok with it being there until I get home.  I like when it is away from me for a while.  But when I forget my keys I have a little panic attack and have to make myself think about something else.  Unless I actually need my keys I do not go back and get them but I do think about where they are or where they were the last time I saw them to reassure myself that they are not lost.  I know in my head that it's not a big deal but the initial realization that my keys are not with me kinda freaks me out.   

What is your thing?  What item do you need to have with you at all times?  Do you feel lost or out of control without it?  Would you turn around to go get it?

Not the most exciting post...blame it on the rain that continues to fall, it's making my brain mushy.  I guess I should blame myself for that, TS Andrea!! 

I'm thankful that I have keys to worry about.

April 16, 2013

25 Random Things from 2009...

Found this under my notes on Facebook, written the end of January 2009.  Thought it would be fun to share it again!

write 25 random things about yourself.

1. it baffles me that i get the same surveys on the same day from people that don't know each other. i wonder how this happens and who starts them. i am easily baffled.

2. i am a huge stickler for proper grammar and punctuation...except when i'm typing, i don't know why.

3. i love healthy food but if i could eat junk food all the time, i would.

4. one of my favorite words is gorky, a cross between goofy and dorky, i think i may have made it up.

5. i am more intelligent than i am willing to admit, again i'm not sure why.

6. i wish that there was some way to record my dreams while i was dreaming them, if there was, shrinks would have a field day with me.

7. i over analyze.

8. i always feel like kirby needs more attention and i'm being a bad puppy mommy.

9. there are some things that i will never tell people, that i know i should.

10. i do not miss the past, nor do i live in it, but sometimes i wish it had lasted a little bit longer.

11. i would love to be able to explain myself fully. i'm a lot more complex then i seem.

12. plain and simple, i love to read. 

13. i am beyond weird, even people that know me and know how weird i am, really have no clue how weird i am.

14. someone told me that i am shy but outgoing, which is exactly how i've always thought of myself.

15. i love tom petty and jimmy buffett.

16. it cracks me up that i was a cheerleader in high school, i loved it but never really took it seriously.

17. i am a girly girl in denial, the denial keeps winning.

18. i always said that i wanted to be a teacher when i grew up, actually i wanted to be one of the fly girls on the show 'in living color' and/or a backup dancer for music videos.

19. though i am a strong woman who believes in equality (blah, blah, blah) i can't help but love hip hop and rap music, which is so degrading towards women...but i still love it.

20. i will almost always do and say the right thing, i'm just too nice for my own good.

21. i am a black and white person that usually floats within a very large gray area, try to figure that out.

22. i love my husband more then i usually remember to tell him.

23. AJ drives me totally crazy sometimes but all i have to do is look at him and i smile.

24. i try my hardest to keep it from being noticeable but i think i'm a little bit OCD, though i come by it honestly.

25. i have a great memory but i remember the strangest things.

well my 25 is up, it was fun, maybe i'll do another installment in the future, just because.

April 09, 2013


I love holidays.

New Years, Cinco De Mayo, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas and so many others.

The big ones, that mosts everyone celebrates, are fun because there are decorations and music and food.  Everyone is laughing and mingling, there is most likely some sort of alcohol involved.  Someone usually gets a little crazy and ends up with a bra on their head.  Wait, maybe I'm thinking of the movie Weird Science...anyway, it's just a huge party with family and friends. What's not to love?

Side note...I don't have much of a taste for alcohol ever since the kids were born but I will partake on occasion...very few occasions...if one of my few preferred drinks is available...and I'm in the mood...and the stars are alined...and I'm able to sleep in the next day.  Like I said, very (very, very, very) few occasions.  

Then you have the holidays that aren't celebrated quite so, um, festively but are still on every calendar you find.  Such as Earth Day, Grandparent's Day and Secretary's Day (also known by the more PC term Administrative Professional's Day)  But, I'm old school, I like to use pencil and paper and terms like secretary and stewardess.  I'm really just a 1950's rich, old, white guy stuck in a 21st century Stay at Home Mom's body.  I'll blame him for my baby belly too, it's really just his old man gut sticking out.

Semi-related question/rant...Are these holidays supposed to end in an S or an 'S?  I checked out a few and Mother's Day and Father's Day have the apostrophe but when I checked out Grandparent and Secretary I see it both ways.  Why is this not consistent?  If Mother's and Father's day has the apostrophe showing the possession of those days to the Mother and Father then why do Grandparent and Secretary just have an S or IES to show plural?  Would that day belong to the grandparents and secretaries also?  It does make sense either way, since it can be a day belonging to mothers or a day for many mothers, but which way is it meant to be?  Which way is correct?  Shouldn't it be the same across the board?  Does anyone have input on this?  Thank you...

But there are so many other holidays that are smaller and less well known but can be just as much fun and even sillier than a bra on your head (because come on who hasn't done that before?) (No, just me?)  (I mean, yeah, me neither...I think...?)

I'm sure by now a lot of you have heard of some of the more well known less well known holidays.  Did you follow that?
There is...Pi Day on March 14th, cause you know, 3.14
Star Wars Day on the 4th of May...May the Fourth be with you
and Towel Day on May 25th.  If you don't know yet, DON'T PANIC, just grab your Guide stick out your thumb and you too can celebrate this day with the rest of the hoopy froods in the Galaxy.

There are just strange one's like...
Gone-Ta-Pott Day which is the 28th day of every month and it's basically a day to say F**K IT, bitch about the day, week, or month you've had and then start anew.
No Pants Day which is the first Friday of May.  Walk around in your skivvies, but I suggest only doing this at home.  Unless you work somewhere very forgiving.
March 13th is Open an Umbrella Indoors Day.  Are you daring enough to ignore all the superstitions and celebrate this day?
Time to take you back to Elementary School, did you know there is actually a Backwards Day and an Opposite Day!?!  Both are in January...Opposite Day is the 25th and Backwards Day is the 31st.

There are tons of food and drink holidays.  You don't even have to think of ways to celebrate these!
National Popcorn Day is January 19th (though there is still some debate and may be a variable holiday) National Carmel Popcorn Day is April 6th (though I've also seen the 7th)
September 30th is National Hot Mulled Cider Day.
February 22nd is National Margarita Day.  October 4th is National Taco Day.  Along with Cinco De Mayo, those are great excuses to eat tacos and drink margaritas at least three days every year! Oh hold on July 24th is National Tequila Day, make that 4 days a year!!!
Peanut Butter gets a double whammy with National Peanut Butter day on January 24th and National Peanut Butter Lover's Day on March 1st.  Two great excuses to eat a very tasty and protein filled snack.
Ice Cream is even better with the whole month of July being dedicated as National Ice Cream Month and the 3rd Sunday named National Ice Cream Day.  But wait it gets better!  June 7th is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, July 23rd is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day and January 15th is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day.

So what about today?  April 9th...
Name Yourself Day, so change our name for the day.  How about Princess Consuela Banana-hammock.
Then there is, Chinese Almond Cookie Day, mmmmm.
It's also, Winston Churchill Day.  To celebrate I was going to post a few pictures from Winston Churchill's Bunker.  Jasey and I visited it when we were in London in 2007.  But my computer doesn't want to cooperate.  If it stops being a bugger I will post them later.

There are so many things to celebrate and each is crazier than the next.  Have some fun and check out what's going on the rest of the month or what silly holiday you can celebrate on your birthday.  I'll try to keep you posted with some fun ones throughout the year.  Start with the one's I already listed to get you going.

A preview for tomorrow...April 10th is National Sibling Day.  Give your sib a call just to say Hi!  For those of you without siblings and for our foodies out there it's also National Cinnamon Crescent Day.  Make some extra for me!!!

Disclaimer...I have not gotten crazy and had a bra on my head...not that I can remember anyway.

Today I'm just thankful.

March 21, 2013


In the past month I have started writing no less than 7 posts.  Some of them are still sitting in my Drafts folder which we know annoys the crap out of 'OCD Andrea'.  Others I started and stopped and erased so much during the writing process that when I went back to read it I had no earthly idea what in the heck I was talking about.  A few I completed but was so unhappy with them I said screw it, deleted the whole thing and just walked away from the computer (I love time well spent).  The rest of them were great topics, very well written, witty...and completely in my head.

I do that a lot.

It feels like at least once a day as I'm doing some mundane chore I think of a great topic to write about, but by the time I grab a pen to write it down it ends up as these weird scribbles of random words.  I remember why I wanted to write about it and the general idea but all the good stuff is gone.

Yet, that scenario is much better than this one!  I will actually start composing a post in my head.  I think of great little things to say.  Metaphors, one liners, life lessons...all while I'm driving to the grocery store or taking a shower.  Definite times I can not grab a pen and jot down these pearls of wisdom.  But I figure, this is my brain, all those thoughts are there somewhere, I just need to get writing again and it will all come back to me.

I'm lucky if I can remember the topic when I sit down, let alone all the fabulously ingenious thoughts that spilled out so easily as I strolled through the produce department.

Nope, instead I'm left with a scribbled topic such as 'naming my blog - meandering tidbits of randomness'.  Which as anyone who has read more than 3 of my posts knows that this is exactly what this blog is all about.  Absolutely nothing.  In case you were wondering, that is an actual word for word note I made to myself one day.

Let me explain.  No, that will take to long.  Let me sum up.

I explore other blogs whenever I can and one of my favorite parts are the titles that people choose.  There is this short little blob that is supposed to express what that person will be sharing about themselves.  Titling a book or a newspaper article has to be nerve wracking enough but they have one main idea.  Imagine putting a title to your whole life, right now, especially when you have no clue what will happen in your future!

Take, for example, my very first email address 'andy16foto'.  (don't ask me why or how I remember that but I can't remember a blog idea I had this morning).  When I was 16 years old and very into photography at the time it made all the sense in the world.  I was also Andy then, more so than 'DRE'.  Though DRE is dying out as well, sad but true.  Fast forward 17 some odd years and what the hell sense does it make now?

Which, (though I'm not sure whether I was rambling just now or gave any indication that this is where I was headed, but...), brings me to my random post idea about naming my own blog.  I had a family site to share pics with everyone and though it was great for pictures it wasn't very user friendly for more bloggy stuff.  So I started the blog, but, I wanted something that was going to be more for me and not just a place to share family stuff.  But being as I am a family person it still needed to include them.  I didn't really have a 'theme' for my blog which so many people do.

Theme examples...The ups and downs of a newly married couple.  A social, stylish and crafty single girl on a budget.  A raunchy tell all mom.  A college professor who crafts her way to a cleaner Earth on the side.  The DIY mom with all the tips.  The foodie that cooks a new recipe every night.

Then there was me.  Married, two kids, stays at home.  There was stuff I liked but nothing that I felt defined me or I put all of myself into.  I also had trouble thinking that anyone would ever give a crap about anything I had to write.  I am not an exciting person.  I like to sew, cook, bake, read...all hobbies, nothing extraordinary.  The only thing that did come to mind was dancing.  But I don't do that anymore.  It was a big part of my life for a long time but how sad would it be for a 30 something to focus her blog on her teenage dancing career?!?!  I still love dance but it was not to be the forefront of my blog.

But I do love my family, and it is here and now.  I love the flow of our life.  Always moving but never really knowing where it was going to go next.

So somewhere a long the way the saying 'moving to the rhythm' popped into my mind.  I couldn't think of anything else more perfect at the time.  I could easily add my family into that because we always just went with the flow in our marriage and parenting and anytime life threw big ass boulders in our river.  And of course there was the very direct indication of dance with movement and rhythm.  'Moving to the Rhythm' was born.

Though 'Meandering Tidbits of Randomness' does have a nice ring to it.

Today I am thankful that things always seem to work out.

February 21, 2013


I came across this little blurb about Introverts and, since I am one, I of course found it interesting.  Thus, I had to share.   It's '10 Myths About Introverts'...

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.
Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.
Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
A world without Introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. That being said, there are still plenty of techniques an Extrovert can learn in order to interact with Introverts. (Yes, I reversed these two terms on purpose to show you how biased our society is.) Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

I copy and pasted from this site  in case you would like to go check out the whole thing and to also explain why it has a black background.   

Also, there is This test from HumanMetrics.  Just answer 75 yes or no questions and it will give you your personality code. The four letters tell you whether you are...Introverted or Extroverted.  Intuitive or Sensing.  Thinking or Feeling.  Judging or Perceiving.

It will also tell you your percentage of one over the other.  I tested as INTJ.  Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging.  My biggest percentage difference was between Introvert and Extrovert a difference of 78%.  My closest was between Thinking and Feeling a difference of only 1%.  The other two were floating around the 30-ish% mark.   

So those of you that think I am weird or rude or flake out on plans too often, hopefully this will help explain why I am that way.  I've always thought of myself as an extroverted Introvert.  I like to travel and see new things and have fun with other people.  I guess it's just that 22% difference trying to get out that explains my extroverted tendencies.  But I am happy to get home and get comfy and lay in bed and read a book.  I like being an Introvert.  I like my own little bubble of life, I'm comfortable and happy in there.  

Jasey is completely opposite.  He is as much of an Extrovert as I am an Introvert, but it works for us.  Could you imagine if we were both Introverts and we were both home all the time?  

I would kill him.  

I can't even imagine being an Extrovert so I can't come up with any fun puny things to say about it.  But I'm sure it too would end in the demise of one of us, or at least a whole lot of fighting and a divorce.  And that is just no fun.

So, even though we sometimes get annoyed with how the other spends their time it works for us and we are happy.  As promised in our vows we respect and accept the people we are and realize that our ways are not the only way.  

So go check out your personality type are and accept who you are, no matter what it is!

Today I am thankful for the past long weekend and the fact that it is already Thursday.  I wish all weeks were like this!

February 20, 2013

Loving My Kirby...

Today is 'Love Your Pet Day'.  What better day to talk about our Kirby Dirby than today?

Jasey always wanted a dog.  I wanted a baby.  Our compromise was to get a dog when we had a baby.  So about half way through being pregnant with AJ we started looking for a four legged baby as well.  It was the first dog for both of us so we had a lot of researching to do and decisions to make.  Puppy, young adult or older?  Pure breed or mix?  Rescue or breeder?

We decided on a pure breed puppy from a breeder.  We knew we didn't want a small dog and of course we wanted something that would be good with kids.  We decided on a Boxer, we liked the size and the temperament and the short hair.  There are so many family dogs that have hair for days...not what I wanted when we'd be adding a newborn to the household soon.  We found someone that bred Boxers and Labs and was planning a litter soon with a Flashy Fawn and a Brindle.  Awesome we loved the Flashy markings!   She wasn't planning the Boxer litter for a few more months, though.  So it would be at least 6 or 8 months before we'd be able to bring a boxer puppy home from her.

Then wouldn't you know it when we contacted her she tells us she actually has a couple litters due in a few weeks, of Labs.  One yellow female (with yellow male) and one black female (with chocolate male) both due within a few days of each other.  The timing was perfect and Labs were on our original list so we talked about it a little bit more and decided to get our names on the list for a male Labrador Retriever.

This is one of the pictures the breeder sent us before we took Kirby home.  I'm not absolutely certain but if I had to guess I'd say Kirby is the one on the left.  He was the biggest of the 3 blacks.  The stance of the one in the middle is all wrong for Kirby and the front feet of the one sitting are too wide and turned out.

February 8, 2007 our first baby was born with 4 brothers and sisters.  A litter of 3 blacks and 2 chocolates.  (and only a day after the yellow litter was born) We saw him for the first time in person at about 6 weeks.  He weighed 16 pounds and tried to take a bite out of my big toe.  When I picked him up just under two weeks later he weighed 21 pounds.  If the toe biting didn't tell me what was in store for us then the 5 pound weight gain in 2 weeks should have really clued me in.  But I had a warm, furry puppy to cloud my brain and give me the baby cuddles I'd been waiting on and wanting for the previous 8 months.

Wasn't he so cute and tiny!?!?!?!  I think so too.  

That first night Jasey had a late night with work and school so at 10 at night I took him out before going to bed.  Instead of peeing like he was supposed to be doing he was sitting there staring at the crazy 8 months pregnant lady standing in her front yard crying.  I didn't even make it 24 hours before breaking down and second guessing our decision.  What was I thinking!?!?!  I was about to have a baby and I knew nothing about raising a dog!!  

But just over a month later, having never been a dog person but I was already in love with this little goofball.   (the mommy inflicted 'cape' is the blanket from his litter which he still has) (and yes, that is my very pregnant belly in the foreground)

When we got home from the hospital Kirby weighed in at 40 pounds, up almost 20 pounds in just over a month.  Oh boy!  AJ and Kirby were fast friends.  I was a little weary and cautious but didn't try and keep them separated.  They were going to grow up together might as well let them get used to each other.

And grow up they did.

Then another two legged baby showed up.  Jasey tried to convince me that meant we needed another dog but I don't think either of us were really ready for that.  Although it almost happened a couple times.  Kirby loved having a new baby around and I guess she tasted yummy cause he got licks in whenever possible.  I don't think he was more protective of Ryan but he definitely seemed to worry about her more.  If she cried he sat by her and kind of looked at us like 'hey, why aren't you doing anything about this?'  I think a lot of it was that he was a few years old by this time instead of just a few months old himself when we brought AJ home.  Either way he loved them both.  

He even liked to play ball with her.  She just wouldn't cooperate.  "What is she like 3 months old? Jeez, I could play ball at 3 months."

I love the picture sequence below.  He thinks he's being so sneaky.  :)

Like any kid he can annoy the absolute crap out of me but I still love him and think he is the cutest thing around.  

He has definitely made a place for himself in our family.  I couldn't imagine The Campbell Clan without him.  It makes me sad to think that he is already considered a senior in years when to me he is still a puppy, our puppy.

He loves to play and will chase any ball (they are his favorite toy) as long as you throw it.  He snores and has the cutest puppy dreams.  He is the smartest, and at times the dumbest, dog you will ever meet.  Though I'm pretty sure he's just pretending to be dumb when he doesn't want to do something. Which makes him smart and crafty.  He is a protector, best friend and foot warmer.  He is a true water dog, loves to swim and play in the hose.  He chases squirrels, ducks and cats.  It cracks me up, unless I'm not expecting it and the leash goes flying out of my hand.  He has no desire to wander to far from us and will come running back as soon as we call him.  He is such a loving dog, he loves people and will lick you to death if you pet him.  He answers to Kirby, Kirb, Bur, Burby, Dirby, Dirb, Goofball and Doofus Face.  

I still think he's pretty cute.  ;)

Today I am thankful that have such a great addition to our family.  He has opened my heart even more over the years.